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Riots, Port Stoppages Dim South Africa Economic Growth Prospects

  • Economists pare 2021 GDP growth forecast to 4.2% from 4.5%
  • Electricity shortages and coronavirus remain risks to outlook
Debris outside the looted Dube Village Mall in Durban, on July 17.

Debris outside the looted Dube Village Mall in Durban, on July 17.

Photographer: Guilem Sartorio/AFP/Getty Images

South Africa’s economic growth prospects waned for the first time this year after deadly riots and a cyber attack on the nation’s ports operator weighed on activity. 

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict gross domestic product will expand 4.2% in 2021, compared with a previous estimate of 4.5%. While that matches the central bank’s forecast, Governor Lesetja Kganyago has warned that the economic damage caused by last month’s unrest could “fully negate” the better-than-expected first-quarter expansion and have a lasting impact on investor confidence and job creation.